Thursday, February 16, 2006

Will we both wear white?

It's all been a bit last minute, but tomorrow I attend my first civil partnership. The girls in the office are flapping about what to wear. M'colleague A. and I have just manfully discussed the delicate subject of jackets.

Keen to see how the order of service will go, because civil partnerships are emphatically not to be seen as gay marriages. Though, er, that is what they are, isn't it?

So, will we be allowed readings, confetti and things? And will there be bubbly drinks? I can't wait.

Since it's a civil do, you can't make mention of God - not even to acknowledge his poor, breaking heart. Having opted for a secular wedding ourselves, the Dr and I weren't allowed any of the God stuff (despite the best efforts of our mothers). Which meant we missed out on some of the madder bits of the Book of Common Prayer.

Looking up the reference to such joyous, puritanical roaring, was entertained to see it begins:
"[Matrimony] is commended of Saint Paul to be honourable among all men..."

The Form of Solemnization of Matrimony, The Book of Common Prayer (1662).

That sounds worrying like official sanction for the hitching of chaps who can't catch. Don't try protesting that the use of "men" isn't gender specific and means "all mankind". That's balls; especially since the thing's then so keen to point out the fundamental differences between men ("love her, comfort her...") and women ("obey him, service him..."). If it meant "men and women", it could say "men and women".

Anyway, the bit I'd have quite happily wed to comes next:
"...and therefore is not by any to be enterprised, nor taken in hand, unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly, to satisfy men's carnal lusts and appetites, like brute beasts that have no understanding..."


That's right, marriage is for shackling down the rutting beast within. Down boy!
"It was ordained for a remedy against sin, and to avoid fornication; that such persons as have not the gift of continency might marry, and keep themselves undefiled members of Christ's body."


Now I realise that "continency" is referring to being able to contain one's urges, rather than being incontinent. But I love even the wilful misreading that the church wants us married to stop us pooing ourselves.

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